Swanson Elementary School Summer 2023



It's hard to believe that we are already to the middle of July. I hope this year's Summer Newsletter finds each of you enjoying some warm weather, fun, and family time.

This year will be my ninth year as the Principal at Swanson Elementary, and my 20th year with the Westside Community Schools. Even though I am not in the classroom, I still get butterflies in my stomach as the new year approaches, similar to when I entered into my first year of teaching. It is such a privilege to be a member the of the Swanson and Westside team, as we are a supportive community of students, families, and teachers who work together to see that each child grows, learns, and succeeds!

Joining our amazing team at Swanson this year, we have a few new staff members we are pleased to introduce you to. Please help me welcome:

  • Mr. Daniel Elliott- Kindergarten
  • Dr. Christine Olsen- First Grade
  • Mrs. Alyssa Herold- Second Grade
  • Mrs. Katie Boyle- Counselor

We are excited to start the 2023-24 school year! We look forward to providing your child, along with our close to 300 students, a learner-centered and rewarding school year. The following newsletter will provide you with much needed information to make the upcoming school year safe, successful, and educational. As we near the beginning of the school year, please continue to look for information from me, your teacher, and the District Offices. We appreciate your continued support and efforts to stay informed as a Swanson parent/guardian. Thank you!

Our Open House Night this year is on Tuesday, August 8th at 5:30 pm. We look forward to welcoming families back to our school and the excitement of the start of the new school year. Be sure to join us to meet your child's teacher, see their room, and learn a little about the curriculum. Class placements will be sent out in early August ahead of Open House Night. The first day of school is Thursday, August 10th.*


Mrs. Harr

*Note: Remember for Kindergarten families you should have received a letter indicating if your child will attend the 10th and 11th, or 14th and 15th. Please call the office if you did not receive this note or are uncertain and we'll be happy to help you.


  • Mrs. Katie Boyle, Counselor

  • Mr. Daniel Elliott, Kindergarten

  • Miss Christine Olsen, 1st Grade

  • Miss Alyssa Herold, 2nd Grade

  • Miss Emma Krenzer, Special Education Assistant

2023-24 Swanson Staff

Big picture


Don't forget to stop up at Swanson on Tuesday, August 8th for our Open House Night. Feel free to stop by at any time during the event to meet your child's teacher and catch up with some previous classmates. Curriculum handouts will also be available during this time for each grade level. We look forward to seeing you on August 8th!

Swanson Open House

August 8, 2023

5:30 - 6:30 PM

Please feel free to bring your school supplies on the night of Swanson Open House!


Be sure to keep an eye on your inbox as we near the beginning of August. Class assignments will again be sent to each family via email. If for any reason you have not received your child's placement notice prior to Swanson Open House on the night of the 8th, please feel free to call the office. We can also help direct you the night of Open House. Please note that the student enrollment process must be completed in order to receive your classroom placement email.

Classroom placement for kindergarteners will be determined after the first four days of school and notification of classroom placement will be sent on Tuesday, August 15th. Your child will enjoy getting to know both teachers the first couple of days!


All RETURNING Westside 66 students must complete the Returning Student Registration for this current school year beginning on August 3rd. Please register your returning Swanson Superstar for the 2023/24 school year.

How do I get started?

Login to your parent PowerSchool account at Click on the Returning Student Registration button. (far left hand column) Remember that registration must be completed for each returning Westside student in your home. Once you're finished, your child will be registered for the 2023-2024 school year.

What if I forgot my PowerSchool account login information?

You can reset your password using the “Forgot Username or Password?” link on the login page ( Please be aware that the recovery email will be sent to the email address you used to create the account, which may not be your current email address. If you need further assistance please email or call 402-390-2100. You can always call the Swanson office for assistance.


Incoming kindergarten students will come to school during the week of August 10th according to the Kindergarten Group 1 or 2 letter that was sent to families. Please come to school on the days you were assigned according to the letter:

Group 1: August 10th and 11th


Group 2: August 14th and 15th

All Kindergarteners will report to school on Wednesday, August 16th. If you have questions or need a reminder if your kindergarten student is in Group 1 or Group 2, please call the office at 402-390-6485.

*Kindergarten teacher assignments will be communicated on Tuesday, August 15th.


We are asking families to consider purchasing school supplies again for the 2023/24 school year. Attached is the list of school supplies needed for your child’s grade level. If you choose to purchase supplies, please consider purchasing a few additional items for those families who are unable to provide these supplies for their children.

Families who purchased school supplies through the Swanson Community Club's fundraiser in the spring, supplies will be delivered to your child's classroom by Open House Night.


If you would like your child to bring a water bottle, you are more than welcome to have them do so. Our water fountains are equipped with water bottle fillers. Please mark these items with your child's name for identification purposes. The district and school will NOT be providing students with water bottles.


Please refer to the Swanson Year-at-a-Glance Calendar for events this school year. This is not an all-inclusive calendar and is subject to change throughout the year. However, it will provide a general outline of events to pencil in on your calendar.

In addition, we encourage you to access our Swanson Calendar through our Website and the Westside Community Schools App.


School Start Time

Our school day begins at 8:30 a.m. Students may enter the building at 8:20 am. We will have supervision outside starting at 8:10 a.m. We ask that students not arrive before 8:10 a.m., unless:

  • Participating in a school activity

  • Serving on Safety Patrol

  • Working with a teacher

  • Having a school breakfast

  • Attending Club 66 Before & After Care program

Why can't we arrive early?

Teachers are involved in team meetings, staff meetings and individual planning from 8:00-8:20 a.m. Students may enter the building when the first bell rings at 8:20 a.m. Our school day begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. Thank you for your continued cooperation!

Good-bye Outside

For the safety of all of our students, we ask that parents say "good-bye" outside of the school during arrival. Students are to independently arrive at their classrooms each morning. If students need assistance, Swanson staff members are available to help. Thank you for your continued support, cooperation and understanding of our arrival procedures!


Every Wednesday, we will end the school day at 3:00 p.m. instead of 3:30 p.m. This gives our teachers throughout the District collaboration time by attending weekly professional learning communities or PLC’s. Our first early dismissal is Wednesday, August 16th.


Please review the following drop-off and pick-up procedures for the 2023-24 school year. If everyone follows these procedures, drop-off and pick-up will run as smoothly as it can. We will continue to evaluate and to assess our procedures and process throughout the school year.

Drop-Off/Pick-up Procedures

There is one entrance/exit off of 85th Ave to the parking lot and drop off/pick-up queue. We will have one driving lane that moves counterclockwise from the entrance, around the parking spaces, past the school entrance, and back to 85th Ave.

During Arrival and Dismissal, you will drop-off and pick-up your child in the Drop-off and Pick-up Zone.


  • You will drop-off your child in the Drop-off and Pick-up Zone. Please see the Arrival/Dismissal map for exact locations.
  • After drop-off, students will then go to their designated grade level. Please see the Arrival/Dismissal map. Please refer to the map for grade level locations.
  • Students will enter through the following locations: K-2 (Southeast doors); 3-6 (Front Entrance doors). If a child arrives after 8:30 a.m., he/she will enter the Front Entrance.
  • Please do not leave the vehicle in the drop-off lane.


  • During dismissal, students will go with classroom or grade level teachers to designated areas on the sidewalk OR older sibling(s) will go to the grade level of his/her YOUNGEST sibling for pick-up.
  • Staff and students will be responsible to watch for parent vehicles and bring/send student(s) to the car.
  • Please do not leave the vehicle in the pick-up lane.
  • Students will still be able to leave the west exit doors to Harney Street and be supervised by Swanson staff.

Procedural Requests:

  • Please work with your child on buckling and unbuckling their own safety belt.
  • Parents should NOT exit the vehicle at arrival and dismissal.
  • Position car seats and boosters on the passenger side of the vehicle as students will exit and enter the car via the passenger side.
  • If you need to personally assist with your child(ren) exiting and entering the vehicle, please park in the parking lot.
  • If you need to park your vehicle for any other reason, please park in the parking lot and use the crosswalk.
  • When you are ready to leave after parking, please enter the queue and wait to exit the parking lot.


No Cell Phones, Please!

We are asking drivers to please hang up cell phones before entering the drop-off and pick-up lane so we can be totally focused on the safety of our students and not distracted.


Swanson has bus transportation available for students who live two miles or more from school. Please call Westside administration at 402-390-2107 to register for bus service or if you have any questions regarding where the bus stops are located or what time pick up and drop off times are.


We want to know that all of our students are safe. Please notify the office at 402-390-6485 (Available 24 hours a day) when your student is not coming to school or will be late for school. Please leave a message with your child’s name and reason for the absence. If we have not heard from you, it is our practice to call.


We recognize, at times, it will be necessary for students to be brought late to school or picked up early for appointments. Our procedures in these situations are the following.

Please send a note or email to your child’s teacher if you are picking up your child early in the day or have a change in transportation arrangements. It is difficult to notify the students and teachers during the school day especially last minute calls after 2:30 p.m. You may call the office when you are on your way to pick up your child and we will call them to the office at that time.

Parents needing to drop off their child(ren) late (after 8:30 am), can walk their child up to the main entry door and ring the buzzer. A staff member will admit both the child and parent into the vestibule. Parents/Guardians will need to sign in their child on the sign-in sheet located in the vestibule.

Parents needing to pick-up their child(ren) early (prior to 3:30 pm) can walk up to the main entry door and ring the buzzer. The parent/guardian should notify the office staff of an early pick-up and their child will be called down from the classroom. Parents will need to sign-out their child in the vestibule. If your child is returning back to school, please follow the drop-off procedures for check-in.

Thanks for your help!


All after school arrangements need to be made by children and parents before arriving at school on any given day. Students will not be able to use the phone to make after school arrangements. Phone calls during the day will not be transferred to students.


  • Press the buzzer located to the left of the front entrance and wait for assistance.
  • Please enter thru the left-hand door.
  • You will be directed into the vestibule and await further instruction.
  • All visitors must enter into the office before going into the school building.
  • Check-in with Miss Wendelin or Ms. Jackman, and receive a Visitor's Badge. Please note that it is our practice to ask for identification of any visitor or parent to our building. This is for the safety of all students as well as assisting in parent and visitor recognition of our front office staff. We appreciate your compliance and understanding in a request for ID.
  • When leaving the building, please go to the front office to check-out and to return your Visitor's Badge.

If you are a Club 66 Parent and Student entering the building outside of the normal school day, you will buzz into a separate system located on the right hand side of the front entry doorway. You will then enter the right hand side entry door. You will be checked-in and checked-out with Club 66 personnel. Parents must accompany his/her child into the school upon arriving in at Club 66 in the morning.


It happens to all of us. We forget things we need for school or work at home (lunch box, band instrument, an assignment, etc.). Fortunately, sometimes parents are able to drop items off for their child. We would ask that such items be dropped off on the black table in the vestibule at the front door To keep students focused on learning. We are happy to deliver items to your child or have your child’s teacher pick them up at an appropriate time.


Students in the Westside Community Schools are expected to dress in a way that is appropriate for the school setting. Students should not dress in a manner that is dangerous to the health and safety of anyone or interferes with the learning environment or teaching process in our school. Following is a list of examples of attire that will not be considered appropriate; this list is not exclusive, and other forms of attire may be deemed by the Principal to be inappropriate for the school setting:

  1. Clothing that shows an inappropriate amount of bare skin or underwear (midriffs, spaghetti straps, sagging pants) or clothing that is too tight, revealing or baggy, or tops and bottoms that do not overlap or any material that is sheer or lightweight enough to be seen through, or otherwise of an appropriate size and fit so as to be revealing or drag on the ground.
  2. Shorts, skirts, etc. that do not extend downward at least as far as the student’s fingertips when the student is standing fully upright with arms relaxed at his or her side.
  3. Sleepwear and slippers, including pajama bottoms, blankets and costumes, unless part of a school-sponsored activity.
  4. Clothing or jewelry that advertises or promotes beer, alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs.
  5. Clothing or jewelry that could be used as a weapon (chains, spiked apparel) or that would encourage “horseplay” or that would damage property (e.g. cleats).
  6. Head wear including hats, caps, bandannas, scarves and hoods worn over the head.
  7. Clothing or jewelry which exhibits nudity, profanity, sexual references or lewd, indecent, or vulgar double meaning.
  8. Clothing or jewelry that is gang related.
  9. Heavy coats and jackets.

Violations of dress code will expose the student to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.


While flip-flops are very cute and popular, they present some safety challenges for our students out at recess and on gym days. If your student likes to be active at recess, please consider sending safer shoes for those recess/gym feet!


We understand that it's important for students to be able to contact their parents before or after school.

Our expectation is that all cell phones are turned off and placed in a student's backpack once they enter the building.

In the event students need to contact their parent, calls can be made from classroom or office phones.

Students use of smart devices such as watches, fitness bands, smart headphones, etc. are handled on a case by case basis. Typically students are allowed to have these devices so long as they are not a disruption to learning or used in a way that distracts the student or others. Note: During state testing and other assessments, students may be asked to store their smart devices at the teacher's desk to ensure they are not used as part of testing.


For the 2023-24 school year, the federal government has elected to NOT continue the universal

free meal program, which means Westside Community Schools’ students will transition

back to a traditional model with paid lunches. If applicable, families in each household will

need to apply for free and reduced meal benefits (which carry over to other opportunities

including technology, camps, etc.)

● Click here to apply for School Meals benefits

● Click here to learn more about meals and prices through Westside Community Schools

Student Prices:

Student Lunch: $2.65

Student Breakfast: $1.70

*Meals include one milk. Water is always extra.

If you have not already, please fill out an application to determine if your student would qualify for either free or reduced price meals. Please remember that this status is always kept private and that there is no way for other students to have access to this information.

BREAKFAST PROGRAM - Breakfast is served from 8:10 - 8:30 daily. Our breakfast program will be available beginning August 10, the first day of school.

Running Late

Please let the office know if you are running late or have a morning appointment for your child. If your child plans on eating lunch from the cafeteria that day, please call and or email your child's lunch choice before 9 am.


  • CASH OR CHECK - Breakfast and lunch charges come out of the same account. Each student in your family has a separate account, but you may send one check to be divided. Please make checks out to “Swanson.” You may also drop lunch money in the “lunchbox” at the office during our Swanson Open House night or anytime. Be sure to include your child's FULL NAME.


Westside Nutrition Services is pleased to have an on-line payment system MySchoolBucks ( to fund lunch accounts. You will have 24/7 computer and mobile access to view balances, make payments and monitor your child(ren)’s purchase history. You will be able to set low balance reminders and receive e-mail confirmation that your payment was received. This system accepts credit cards, debit cards and even lets you pay with checks. MySchoolBucks is certified by VISA for its CISP/Cardholder Information Security program.

You will need your student's ID number to set up an account. You may call the office and request their ID number or check your Powerschool account.


Birthday Treats are a special way to celebrate your child with his/her classroom. Birthday treats are not required, but appreciated. They can be consumable or non-consumable. If you choose to bring in food, it must be an approved treat or snack from our District's Healthy Snack List.


**If your child has prescription or non-prescription medication, inhalers, Epi-pens, etc. to be kept at school, please call the office and make an appointment to drop off any needed medication BEFORE the first day of school.

The school district will not purchase, prescribe, or provide any medication for any student. The health office must have a written, signed and dated Medical Authorization form from the parent or guardian requesting that his/her child be given medication during the school day (prescription or over-the-counter). This form is available in the office or by clicking the bar below.

  • All medication must be brought to school and taken home from school by a parent/guardian. It must be in the original container, labeled with the child's name, date prescribed, name of medication, directions for use, dosage information and the time the medication is to be given. Most pharmacies will provide you with an extra-labeled bottle upon your request.
  • All prescription medication forms must be signed by the doctor. Whenever possible, medication should be administered at home.
  • Non-prescription medications and ointments (i.e. cough syrup, cough drops, cold medicine, Vaseline, Tylenol/Ibuprofen/Benadryl, Neosporin, lotions, etc.) must be brought to school in the original bottle/box/container, with the time and dose to be given noted on the signed Medical Authorization form. These medications are kept in the health office.
  • Scrapes and cuts are washed and bandaged, if needed. We do not and cannot use any ointment or cleaning product on an individual. If an injury is severe or questionable, a parent will be contacted.
  • All medication, including cough drops, must be picked up by a parent at the end of the duration. We will not send any medication home with a child.Please keep this information available for use in the event your child will need to take medication during school hours.

If your child has any additional health needs, please be sure to turn in the appropriate forms and action plans so we can best support your child.


Office personnel will notify parents/guardian when a student needs to be sent home from school due to illness. Conditions requiring a student be sent home include: temperature greater than 100.0°F, vomiting, diarrhea, unexplained rashes, or on determination by school personnel that the child’s condition prevents meaningful participation in the educational program, presents a health risk to the child or others, or that medical consultation is warranted unless the condition resolves.

Parents should complete the online Annual Information Update each year to verify that emergency daytime phone numbers are current so that parents can be reached if their child becomes ill or is injured while at school. Parents should also inform the School Nurse or Health Assistant of health-related information they feel is important for each child’s safety and success at school.

When is My Child Too Sick for School

Send me to school if...

  • I have a runny nose or just a little cough but no other symptoms.
  • I haven't taken any fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours and I haven't had a fever during that time.
  • I haven't thrown up or had any diarrhea for 24 hours.

Keep me at home if...

  • I have a temperature higher than 100 degrees even after taking medicine.
  • I'm throwing up or have diarrhea.
  • My eyes are pink and crusty.

Call the doctor if...

  • I have a temperature higher than 100 degrees for more than two days.
  • I have been throwing up or have diarrhea for more than two days.
  • I have the sniffles for more than a week and they aren't getting better.
  • I still have asthma symptoms after using my asthma medicine (and call 911 if I'm having trouble breathing after using my inhaler).


Club “66” is dedicated to making extended school time a safe, fun, and enjoyable experience. Arts and crafts, physical activity, center time, group activities, music, free movement, and computers are among the many activities we will be offering. Children will be encouraged to participate in activities, but may choose to read, listen to music, do homework, or just have some quiet time to themselves. One of the goals for this program is to create a structured environment with many options so the children feel free to participate in any activity they choose. We want to strive to make Club 66 a place the children can’t wait to come to every day. Our staff will utilize a facilitative approach; encouraging and guiding when necessary.

We look forward to another successful year at Swanson Elementary. If you have any questions, or are interested in enrolling your child in Club 66, email or call 390-3324.


You are invited to BE A PART OF THE MUSIC! This fall, you will have the opportunity to do what so many successful students have done before you by being a part of Band and Strings! In the first three weeks of school we will be visiting all the buildings, demonstrating the instruments, and giving students the opportunity to select an instrument of their choice. We will have a parent meeting about our program on Tuesday, August 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Westside Middle School. All are welcome to attend to learn about elementary instrumental music and meet the teachers. We are excited to introduce your child to the world of instrumental music!

The Elementary Instrumental Music Staff

Gail Carpenter-Johnson, Michael Freeman, Viktoria Matheson and Jennifer Johansen


Swanson, along with all Westside Elementary Schools, will continue to email monthly newsletters the first Friday of the month and post these important communication publications on school websites. Students will still bring home flyers advertising various non-profit activities, along with a printed monthly school lunch menu. Please make sure we have your most current e-mail address.


Each first Friday of the month is Swanson Spirit Day. On this day we all wear our Swanson logo wear or school colors, blue and white, to show our spirit. It’s a fun day filled with terrific Swanson spirit!


What if you only see your child a couple of times a week? You can still be involved in your child’s education.

* Inform the office of your current phone number, address and email.

* Inform the teacher you would like to receive progress reports (this may be electronic), conference schedules (when appropriate), and notices about school activities.

* Attend parent/teacher conferences to show your child that both parents are behind him/her - acting as a team.

* Provide your child with a special folder to save school papers for you. That way, you’ll see your child’s finished work as well as the teacher’s comments.


What is The Swanson Community Club?

In Westside, we refer to our PTO as Community Clubs. The Swanson Community Club is open to all of the families of Swanson students and those who wish to support our school. We encourage all families to consider attending the monthly meetings, signing up for committees, and sharing their time, talents, or support to help make Swanson the best school for our kids.

Committees & Events:

Swanson is an amazing school with amazing families, students, and staff. That much amazing doesn’t happen without a lot of help. The Community Club sponsors fundraisers and events. These require planning, creativity, and preparations. Each year there is a signup during Swanson Open House for both Committee and Event Members and Committee Chairs.


The Community Club supports many important events and traditions. Our biggest events include our Movie in the Park, Bingo Night and Spring Event at Countryside. The Community Club provides yearly checks to our teachers for their classroom supplies and needs. We also show our appreciation to the amazing Swanson Staff with Thankful Thursday lunches throughout the year, conference dinners and Staff Appreciation Week. The annual Fundraiser is our main fundraising event. These serve every student and family across our building.

Join us this year in making Swanson a wonderful school for our children!

-Mrs. Sara Troia, Community Club President

Swanson Community Club Membership Toolkit

We are excited to announce that we will be using Membership Toolkit for our Directory,

Online Sales, Volunteer Sign Ups and Communications for the 2023/2024 school year.

We invite you to visit to

see everything your Community Club has to offer this year. Once you create a

Membership Toolkit Account, you will have access to upcoming calendar events, make

purchases, sign up to volunteer, view our school directory and much, much more.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Click "Verify my email" and then check your email for a link to complete the process. The link expires in 2 hours. If you do not receive the email, check your spam or junk folders.

  • Once you have verified your email address, log back in and finish the registration process.

  1. Complete the Parent/Family and Student Information.
  2. Complete the Directory/Publish Preferences.
  3. Once these forms are complete, you will be presented with forms for completed you will be able to access everything on the site! Once the Primary Account is set up, the Primary User can "invite" other email addresses to access his/her account. This allows the Secondary User to have their own login information, but still have access to the family account.

Questions? - Please do not hesitate to contact us at


We know that everyone loves to get those "first day of school" photos every year to commemorate the event. Swanson is offering a way to still have those first-day photos and stay safe at the same time!

During the Open House Night on Tuesday, August 8th, you are invited to take your "First Day" photo at Swanson on the front lawn. There will be signs for your photo-taking pleasure welcoming our Superstars back to school. Be on the lookout for more information closer to the start of school!

A reminder that goodbyes are said outside of the school building and students walk in independently on the first day of school just like every other day. Please take this opportunity to capture that "First Day" of school photo!

Big picture


It's never been easier to keep up to date on events in Westside and at Swanson. The Westside Community Schools App is available for both iPhone and Android in the App Store. Using this app allows you to follow important information for our school and district, access calendars, and links to important resources. Be sure to download it and check it out!


August 8 Swanson Open House, 5:30pm-6:30pm

August 10 School Begins at 8:30 am

August 14 School Begins for Kindergarten Group 2

August 16 3:00 pm Dismissal for all students

August 30 5/6 Gr. Instrumental Parent Mtg. @ WMS, 6:30 pm

September 2 No School for students

September 5 No School - Labor Day

September 12 Community Club Mtg., 6:30 pm

September 9 School Pictures

October 3 Community Club Mtg., 6:30 pm

October 3-7 Homingcoming Week

October 13 Parent/Teacher Communication Conferences

October 13-17 No School for students


Westside Community Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, marital/parental status, military/veteran status or any other category protected by law in its programs and activities or in admission or access to, or treatment in, hiring and employment, and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

The following District personnel have been designated to coordinate compliance and can address inquiries about the District’s nondiscrimination policies and procedures:

For questions or concerns by students, parents or others:

For questions by District employees or applicants:

For further information about anti-discrimination laws or to file a complaint of discrimination you may also contact the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Dept. of Education, One Petticoat Lane, 1010 Walnut Street, 3rd Floor, Suite 320, Kansas City, MO 64106,
Tele. (816) 268-0550, Fax (816) 268-0599, (TDD) (800) 877-8339, or


Email is a great way to communicate with your child’s teacher. The Westside format is as follows:



Visit our web page for current information on school happenings and activities during the year. Go to and click on schools and then the Swanson link.

Welcome to Swanson! Home of the Superstars!


The Mission of Swanson School, as a dynamic community alliance and model of innovative education, is to support and empower all learners to achieve academic excellence.

Swanson's Expectations

  • Be Safe
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible